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While visiting the nation’s capital there are a few “must-dos” – like strolling by the White House, posing at the Lincoln Memorial and taking in serious knowledge at the Smithsonian’s. In that vein, certain bars -like the Round Robin Bar– though iconic are not where the locals go for their fix. Expedia.com reached out to Girl Meets Food to help travelers really Drink Like A Local during their visit. A huge thanks to them for helping us put this article together.

Copycat Co. looks like a tasty take-out dumpling spot to hit up after a few libations, but don’t be fooled, this H-street newb is a one-stop shop for craft cocktails and handmade dumplings. The second floor is a hidden cocktail den with Barmini-alum, Devin Gong at the helm. Copycat Co is a perfect place for cocktail virgins and experimenters alike, with menus explaining how each type of cocktail is created. Kick off the night with an Applejack Old-Fashioned or a Poet’s Dream and close the night with bao buns and dumplings. Per-fection.

copycat co menu

In Adam’s Morgan, check on the not-so-secret Dram & Grain tucked below the neighborhood favorite, Jack Rose Dining Saloon. You’ll immediately feel in-the-know when you’re handed a glass complimentary welcome punch. D&G is a reservations only space with three seatings on Friday and Saturday nights only. Need to know – seatings last 2 hours and there is a two drink minimum.

Flash back to the 1920s in Penn Quarter’s, Denson Liquor Bar, an underground art-deco space with a classic menu that includes a Negroni, Sazerac, Aviation, and Hemingway daiquiri, among others. Guests can pair their classic cocktail with classic snacks including spiced bar nuts or cheese and charcuterie platters, or explore the more unique dishes like a Cubano panini or curried-chicken pot pie.

The hand drawn menus are reason enough to check out 2 Birds, 1 Stone in the U Street Corridor. Lucky for us, the cocktails are equally as creative and delicious as the drink-inspired doodles. Adam Bernbach, the brains behind the operation, created an approachable yet ever-changing menu and an informal space where the cocktails and cool-kid vibe can shine through. Stop in before dining at sister restaurant Doi Moi or at the end of a crawl down U Street – 2 Birds will satisfy the amateur and aficionado, alike.

2birds1stone

Had a battle of a day? Retreat to civil-war general approved, McClellan’s Retreat at the edge of Dupont Circle. With over 50 types of whiskey, McClellan’s is the place to snag a classic Manhattan or Sazerac. Perfect space to cozy up to that cute Tindr match.

McClellan's Retreat, Washington, DC

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